Hello Team South Kitsap,
What another fantastic February week here in this amazing district !! There are so many exciting activities going on across the district with students, staff and parents attending. Even the weather seemed to brighten up a bit this week ;>)
While the results of our bond campaign have not yet reached the critical 60% threshold needed to pass, I am overwhelmed by the outpouring of support from our community. The many volunteers who supported the campaign, including the South Kitsap School Supporters, staff members, and countless business owners and community members, were tireless in their efforts. We have received numerous messages of support like this one from Mr. Jim Civilla, owner of West Bay Auto Parts, “Congrats on the bond. It is going to be close. Even if it doesn’t pass, this community now knows it is doable, and it will pass next time. You all worked hard and the results are there.” We will continue to watch the results as they come in. We can be so grateful to so many for the efforts to support our students. Thank you.
A reminder that February is CTE (Career & Technical Education) Month, so we’re celebrating our district commitment to hands-on learning! CTE classes include programs in Video and Communications, Agriculture, Computer Science, 9th Grade Integrated Science, Athletic Medicine, ASL, Family and Consumer Science, Marketing, Ceramics, Graphics, Auto, CAD, NJROTC and Construction. They offer classes in the junior highs and high school as well as STEM projects in the elementary schools. CTE classes help to spark interest in students to find their passion and to ensure success as they explore career opportunities. SKSD has built partnerships with local businesses, Boeing, Keyport, PSNS and Wavecable to offer internships, learning and job opportunities. We’re looking forward to our continued partnerships and developing new ones. CTE helps to build the whole child - CTE matters!! If you have a moment, thank and recognize a CTE staff member when you see them.
This month, we also celebrate National School Counseling Week 2016, noting "School Counseling: The Recipe for Success," This recognition is to focus public attention on the unique contribution of school counselors within U.S. school systems. National School Counseling Week, sponsored by ASCA, highlights the tremendous impact school counselors can have in helping students achieve school success and plan for a career. National School Counseling Week is always celebrated in February. I want to add to this note by saying how inspiring the South Kitsap High School mid-year Graduation Ceremony was yesterday afternoon. Counselors Elayne Wallis and Tawni Chinchilla shepherded the graduation for five excited graduates. The theatre was full and families, friends, and staff celebrated this important milestone for the five young people. Overcoming adversity and demonstrating resilience in finishing high school requirements is an achievement. Well done !!
Currently, there is a charitable drive at Orchard Heights with Allison Larson, a fourth grade student in Mrs. Simmons class, deciding to give back to our community through a blanket drive. A box is in the school office and community members are encouraged to donate blankets. The blankets will be given to local shelters. Well done!! This is another amazing example of the power of gracious generosity and sharing our amazing plenty.
Recently, the SK Wolves, under the amazing leadership of Coach Chad Nass, competed in the Narrows League 4A Sub Regional Wrestling Meet, in which the top four wrestlers in each weight class advance to the WIAA Regional Meet this weekend at Bellarmine. The top four wrestlers at the regional meet in each weight class qualify for the WIAA State Tournament. The team competition was extremely close with Yelm and SK. At the end of the two day meet; the top two teams where…Yelm 372 pts. And SK 371.5 pts. It was a fantastic competition between two great programs. Mr. Gaylord Strand, the Yelm Head Coach, felt the score was incorrect. He contacted the meet manager on Sunday, as he felt that SK should have won the meet by ½ a point. Gaylord was correct. What a fantastic lesson in sportsmanship by Coach Strand! Mr. Ed Santos, our school district athletic director, contacted the Yelm Athletic Director and Principal to express our respect and admiration for their wrestling staff. Congratulations also to the fifteen SK wrestlers going on to the Regional Meet this weekend. Go Wolves !!
From the mats to the pool… We had ten SK Wolves who had some very fast swims over the weekend. There were twenty two best times posted, one event championship title (with a new school record), our 200 Medley Relay that advances to State. In the end, SK finished in 7th place out of an 18 team field. Well done !!
When Haylie Stitt was in Mrs. Stritzel’s third grade class at Manchester Elementary last year, she decided to write a letter to President Obama. This year, Haylie received a letter in return from President Obama thanking her for writing and sharing about her life. “Stories from young people like you inspire me every day and I’m glad you took the time to tell me a little about your life. In the years ahead, always remember that nothing is beyond your reach as long as you are willing to dream big and work hard. If you stay focused on your education, I know there are no limits to what you can achieve,” he wrote. He also sent some signed photos including a few pictures of the first family’s dogs, Sunny and Bo. Well done !!
And so, as we have a long week-end ahead of us, my thoughts turn to this quote from Wess Stafford; “Joy is a decision, a really brave one, about how you are going to respond to life.” I wish each of you a joyful week-end and look forward to resuming our journey together next week.
Michelle Reid, Ed.D.
Hello Team South Kitsap,
Animal Planet recently compiled a top ten list of the smartest animals on the planet, and the squirrel was on the list at #07. While I am not sure where the groundhog scores on this assessment, we have received word that spring will come early this year. A crowd gathered at Gobbler's Knob, Pennsylvania, early this morning, awaiting the emergence of the groundhog named Punxsutawney Phil. After a tap of a cane on Phil's tree-trunk cage, his door was opened, and P. Phil emerged. He was held aloft to cheers and applause. Phil did not respond, other than to blink. Interpreting Phil's behavior, the Groundhog Club emcee proclaimed, "There is no shadow to be cast! An early spring is my forecast!" With an accuracy rate of 80 percent, New York City's official Groundhog Day prognosticator, Staten Island Chuck in New York is the best in the business. For the unfamiliar: If a groundhog comes out of its hole at the end of hibernation and sees its shadow, it's six more weeks of winter. If there is no shadow sighting, then spring is right around the corner. Well, we can all rest easy as spring is now officially right around the corner.
Alice Rosengren-Porter (1947-2015) was a cherished volunteer, tireless committee member and PTA force for well over a decade in our school district. She was a member of almost every local PTA unit and held numerous positions on the Mullenix Ridge PTA and SK PTSA Council boards. Additionally, she was a representative on the WSPTA Region 1 Service Delivery Team, WSPTA Region 1 Advocacy chair and SK Council Reflections art program chair. She served on countless district committees and was Summer Lunch Camp’s traveling librarian. To honor Alice and all the work she did in our community, friends and family donated funds to purchase a memorial bench that was recently installed at the SKSD district office. Alice was a true champion for children and she will be remembered as an advocate for all.
We recently had one of our own amazing mechanics featured in an article in School Transportation News. The article, featuring mechanic Ms. Maurine Simons, details her amazing work here in the South Kitsap School District and notes “that Maurine has emerged as a torchbearer for female school bus technicians nationwide.” Ms. Simons is quoted as saying, “I will never be one of the boys and don't want to be. We have made a family out of our workplace and I enjoy going to work every day, because of my coworkers," she said. “I am blessed to be working in a smaller shop with a family-like atmosphere to it. We all work together using the strengths of each other to improve our skills.” What a great example of excellence. Well done !!
Currently in our State, the number of homeless students continues to climb with more than 35,000 students in Washington who lack a permanent place to sleep each night. Numbers released today by the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction show that in 2014-15, 35,511 Washington students – 3.3 percent of the state’s public P-12 population – were counted as homeless. The number is a 9.1 percent increase from 2013-14 and a 62.7 percent increase from 2009-10. “These kids sleep in campgrounds or under highways or on friends’ sofas,” said Randy Dorn, superintendent of public instruction. “And that can lead to them repeating grades or dropping out of school. We must make sure that school can be a stable influence in their lives and that they don’t fall behind.” The federal McKinney-Vento Act ensures that homeless children have access to “the same free, appropriate public education, including a public preschool education, as provided to other children and youths.”
Ms. Felitia Conley, a first grade teacher from Hidden Creek, reports that they just finished a unit about Homes. In one of their class discussions, a student brought up homelessness, which prompted an inquiry into homeless people in our community. The students watched a Reading Rainbow episode and learned that as kids, they could do something to help. The students decided they wanted to help the homeless in our community by doing a drive. Three first graders called Coffee Oasis downtown and asked if they could help the homeless teens they shelter. The entire first grade put together a presentation for Mrs. Smith. It is so inspiring learning about this community project our 1st graders put together. We are so proud of the work they put in and how caring our kids are in thinking about our community. Again, it is many small acts that make such a large difference in our schools and community. Well done !!
Recently, our very own South Kitsap High School NJROTC cadet Elijah Wolf participated in the House Page Program with Representative Jesse Young. Registration is open now for free all-day Kindergarten at all South Kitsap elementary schools. Please contact your neighborhood school or visit our website to get started.
South Kitsap does a great job at providing a strong foundation and pathway for our students. Look how Megan Murnane shines! Mr. Tom Schmuck’s Intro to Video class exposes students to the possibilities of broadcast news and then Mr. Mike Downum gives them wings to soar! The rest lies with our students and their families. It is an awesome team effort! https://meganmurnane.wordpress.com/2016/01/06/the-middle/ Megan, along with 3 other students received a WSU travel scholarship to visit Nepal over Winter break. Megan graduates this year with a Bachelor’s in multi-media journalism and a Bachelor’s in history. She is also the President and General Manager of WSU’s Cable 8 & President of WSU’s American Women in Communication (AWC). She has worked extremely hard during her 3 years at WSU. Well done !!
Two weekends ago, over 30 staff members from our elementary schools attended the Vulnerable Readers Summit in Portland, Oregon. Participants were immersed in best practices for reading and writing instruction for primary students. The importance of the early years and the necessity to provide a solid foundation through excellent instruction to close the gap for our most vulnerable students was the overarching theme of the conference. Kindergarten teachers participated in a one-day All Day Kindergarten Summit geared for our youngest learners. Presenters shared many strategies, ideas, and teaching techniques to help develop and expand emergent reading and writing skills. Thank you to Leann Georgeson, Delynn Maples, and Kristine Lange for summarizing the “key learnings” for the summit.
At the board meeting last night, three NIB awards were presented to outstanding people who represent the South Kitsap School District vision of nurturing growth, inspiring achievement, and building community. Ms. Kathy Kettwig was recognized for her invaluable contributions in Ms. Lefler’s classroom at East Port Orchard Elementary. Ms. Lori Hardin, nominated by Ms. Patricia Taormina, is a first year Spanish teacher from Orchard Heights and Hidden Creek. She was honored for her terrific attitude, work ethic, and flexibility. South Kitsap High School custodian, Mr. Clifford Buell, was nominated by the SKHS Cheer Team for his support and assistance in helping the team find practice space. Well done NIBs!!
There was another great article in the Kitsap Sun titled ABC's of early education detailing multiple kindergarten components. The story features several classrooms in our district, notably Burley Glenwood Elementary School kindergarten teacher Jenny Brisbon’s class at Burley Glenwood. Well done !! During the past week, Manchester hosted a Math Night. Students and their families came to explore our online math resources and learn how to access math information regarding our curriculum while at home. They explored the resources, tools, and had fun playing math games. There was a full crowd, well over a hundred, filling the library.
In an interesting historical fact, SKHS has been honored with one of the Gold NFL 50th Annual Super Bowl Footballs. This football is given to every high school in the United States that had an alumni play in a Super Bowl. Benji Olsen, a 1994 South Kitsap graduate, played in the 2000 Super Bowl as a member of the Tennessee Titans. Benji Olsen was a multi-sport athlete at SKHS in football and track and field. We are thrilled to be part of this historic commemoration.
As we approach another fantastic February weekend, I find these thoughts inspiring, “There is no greater gift you can give or receive than to honor your calling. It's why you were born. And how you become most truly alive.” —Oprah Winfrey (born 1954)
Michelle Reid, Ed.D.
Hello Team South Kitsap,
It is hard to believe it has been thirty years since the Challenger space disaster. Local news media are covering the story and reminding us of the incredible sacrifice discovery can sometimes result in and the memories left behind for generations. “A little more than a minute after launch and high above Kennedy Space Center, the shuttle Challenger was ripped apart after the failure of a rubber seal allowed a spurt of rocket flame to ignite the spacecraft’s giant fuel tank. The roiling plume of Challenger’s disintegration would sear an image in the nation’s psyche that spoke of a particular sorrow; among seven astronauts killed 30 years ago Thursday was teacher Christa McAuliffe.” It is hard not to remember this horrific event that played out live on television sets across the country. “We will never forget them,” said President Ronald Reagan in a broadcast hours later evoking triumph from tragedy. “The Challenger crew was pulling us into the future, and we’ll continue to follow them.” This spirit of innovation and exploration is what our proud nation is founded on and continues to be the work of our schools as we build a better future for all.
In keeping with this spirit of innovation, students from South Kitsap High School science classes presented the third annual Science Extravaganza on January 19. Students presented planetarium shows, showed science projects, and had STEM activities for members of the community. Dr. Lutz of the University of Washington gave a fascinating talk on the Eclipse of 2017, convincing attendees we should all take a road trip to Oregon in August of 2017 to see this spectacular event. Community members expressed their appreciation of a day for celebrating science and the work our students do because Science is Awesome! Many thanks to Ms. Bev Painter and the high school staff for their efforts in making this event so successful. Well done.
It was a big week-end last week-end as thirty of our elementary teachers attended the Vulnerable Readers Summit in Portland Oregon. The focus was on best practices for emergent reading instruction and the participants came back energized with interesting ideas for use in our classrooms and schools. A big thank you to our dedicated and hardworking teachers for taking time to attend this conference and leading this important work in our district. Well done !!
Recently, as a John Sedgwick Junior High STEAM related project, Mr. Tom Schmuck shared this student work. It is a video that one of his Intro to Video student groups created. Suffice it to say that STEAM is all around us and embedded in our curriculum. This is such a great example of student inquiry and engagement with robust and complex topics. Well done !!
The District counselors met Wednesday Morning and discussed a number of topics. As a group, they recently attended a presentation regarding Kitsap Strong. This organization is committed to improving the overall health and well-being of Kitsap County and its residents, through the reduction of Adverse Childhood Experiences and building resilience. This in an initiative that is funded and supported through the combined efforts of the Kitsap Community Foundation, United Way, Kitsap Public Health District, The Suquamish Tribe and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. It is so inspiring that our staff are part of this important community collaboration. Well done !!
I am pleased to announce that I have made a decision to formalize the position of Special Services Director for our district. Ms. Shelby MacMeekin has served as the District’s Interim Director of Special Services since the beginning of the 2015-16 school year. During this time, Ms. MacMeekin has met the District’s expectations and been an integral part of both the executive and special services teams. Upon successfully completing nearly half of the regular school year, a panel was formed to discuss Ms. MacMeekin’s performance. This panel included representatives from all areas of special services. The feedback from Ms. MacMeekin’s staff regarding her knowledge, skills and abilities was overwhelmingly positive. Effective February 3, 2016, upon approval of the South Kitsap School District Board of Directors, Ms. MacMeekin’s contract will be converted from an interim to continuing status. We are so blessed to have her leadership as a part of our team and so I hope that when you have occasion to see Shelby, you will take a moment and congratulate her on being named our South Kitsap School District Director of Special Services.
Our South Kitsap Cheer team will compete at the Alaska Airlines Arena at the University of Washington on Saturday, January 30th in the “non-tumbling large team” category. They took 2nd place at the Battle of the Border Competition in Vancouver last month and took 1st place at the Gig Harbor Cheerfest this past Saturday with a qualifying score of 60. Doors open at 11am and the competition starts at Noon. Go Wolves !!
South Kitsap High School DECA had 8 students qualify for the State Championship this year at the Area 7 competition. The students who will be competing at the State Championship are Airian Boehs, Dale Eckstrom, Aiyana Stringer, Oriana Ruscigno, Ellie Rill, Brad Price, Avery Meyers, and Clayton Hutchinson. Hutchinson was the outright champion for his event. Students who finish in the top 6 at the State Career Development Conference for DECA will qualify for a trip to the National Championship in Nashville, Tennessee in April. A big thank you to Mr. Sean Duttry, the South Kitsap High School Marketing and DECA teacher who supports this important Career and Technical Education program. Go Wolves !!
Our South Kitsap Boys’ Swim and Dive Team is competing in the Narrows League Swim & Dive Championships this week-end. South Kitsap is sending 25 Wolves to these championships which is one of our largest contingents in some time. We wish them well as they represent us over the next few days. Go Wolves !!
South Kitsap School District was represented at the Kindergarten Fair held at Subbase Bangor Tuesday Night and kindergarten registration will be starting this coming week effective February 1. As our district continues to grow, it is so exciting to welcome this new group of young learners to our district family. It is also noteworthy that Ms. Shannon Thompson, from our Office of Student Success announced today that our final two schools have been approved for full state funding for all day kindergarten. This completes the full slate of the South Kitsap elementary schools as they will all be fully funded for all day kindergarten from here forward.
As I was contemplating the coming days, I came across this quote and am reminded of its power for us today…“When you know who you are; when your mission is clear and you burn with the inner fire of unbreakable will; no cold can touch your heart; no deluge can dampen your purpose. You know that you are alive.”
-- Chief Seattle (1780-1866) Leader Of The Suquamish And Duwamish Native American Tribes
Michelle Reid, Ed.D.
Hello Team South Kitsap,
Well, what an amazing week !! Also, it is a very important day today, as it is Squirrel Appreciation Day. This often misunderstood, yet charismatic creature, has today as its special national day of commemoration. Even in the chill and cold of the winter, the American Squirrel finds ways to stay active…
Thank you to the NJROTC cadets who volunteered their time on Martin Luther King Jr. Day with a “Day On” on their day off. The cadets cleaned up local parks and roadways. In other NJROTC news, I am proud to announce that our very own Wolf Battalion Cadet Commander Danielle Corpuz, was notified this week of her appointment to the United States Naval Academy. What an achievement and testament to hard work and dedication on her part and all of those teachers, mentors and support staff who have contributed in ways large and small to her success.
Also, a big shout out to our Burley Glenwood Choir who sang at the 22nd Annual Kitsap County Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration on Monday. The music and their amazing unified voices, led by Ms. Laura Kornelis, were inspiring. The event this year featured former Seattle Mayor Norm Rice, who spoke primarily on the importance of education as a key to the future of our communities and country. It was an inspiring event …
Not to be outdone, Ms. Lisa Wickens and her class at Olalla Elementary School recently received The Angelz of the Month Award for January for their community service project with the soldiers. This project, supporting our men and women serving in the military overseas, serves as a reminder of the sacrifice so many make to protect and preserve our rights in this great country, and often have generational impact. It is not always the large acts taken by the few; but, rather the small acts made by the many that shape our culture and communities. As Ms. Wickens observed, “Great things are happening in these little kids’ hearts and minds and I am excited to see where it takes them in life. Plus, they’re pretty pumped about the pizza party!” Well done !!
Last night, at Manchester Elementary School, the School Board was recognized by a number of schools and their staff and students. A big thank you for the thoughtful and appreciative posters and cards. Our Board works a tremendous number of hours supporting the students and staff and it is so nice to have them recognized for their contributions. I think the Cedar Heights students said it best (in several languages;>) “Thank you for Inspiring Excellence and Shaping Futures.”
A big thank you to the junior high science teachers and CTE leadership staff for putting in long hours this past three day week-end engaging in Project Lead the Way – a new junior high science curriculum training held for staff. Also, John Sedgwick held their STEAM Kick off and AVID parent night on Wednesday with the AVID High School Parent Night also being held Thursday night. Thank you to all the staff supporting these amazing initiatives and events for our students. It matters.
Based on ticket sales, we had an average of 750 spectators each day, come and cheer on their elementary 5th/6th grade boys and girls teams on both Saturday Feb 9th and Feb 16th. The schools who participated this year were: Burley Glenwood, Mullenix Ridge, Olalla, Sidney Glen, South Colby, EPO, Manchester and Orchard Heights.
Congratulations to Sidney Glen who were victorious with both boys and girls teams in the championship games of the SK Elementary Basketball Tournament last Saturday. The girls won against EPO 25-20. The boys game went to triple overtime and was won with a half-court shot at the buzzer! Final score Sidney Glen 34, Orchard Heights 31. CHECK OUT the video on Facebook - it’s definitely an ESPN top 10.
On Monday the Lady Wolves bowled themselves to the Narrows League Title, by beating Yelm 6-1. They came back from being 90 pins down. This was an awesome team effort and gives them an automatic bid to the West Central District Championships which is held on Jan 30th at Pacific Lanes in Tacoma. The Port Orchard Independent ran a great article about our bowlers last Friday.
The SK Boys Swim team are also splashing their way to success. They had a fun day of racing relays at “Evergreen State College South Sound Relays” on Saturday; Wolves finished in 4th place and along the way picked up twenty three personal bests and two new league champs standards. Wednesday’s last home meet brought out the best so far this season winning against Rogers Puyallup 106-74. Fifty two personal bests, four Narrows, one District and one new State qualifying time.
Last Friday night, I had the privilege of attending the Class of 2017 Talent Show at the high school. It was a full house and we were treated to a tremendous evening of entertainment. The junior class advisors, Ms. Andrea McDermott, and Ms. April Emerson have a great group they are advising. Thanks to all involved for a fun night.
Let’s have a great winter week-end and as we contemplate our coming days and weeks, I want to remind us once again of Dr. King’s thoughts, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: What are you doing for others?” --- Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Michelle Reid, Ed.D
Hello Team South Kitsap,
What another fantastic week here in the South Kitsap School District. There are so many amazing things going on and the energy is contagious. There are multiple celebrations of the upcoming holiday commemorating the late Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the music, readings and drama are inspiring.
I am proud to announce that Cedar Heights Junior High has been designated as a Center of Educational Effectiveness 2015 School of Distinction. The award is based on sustained improvement over a five year period in reading/English language arts (ELA) and math. The Center for Educational Effectiveness (CEE) in partnership with the Association of Educational Service Districts (AESD), The Association of Washington School Principals (AWSP), Washington Association of School Administrators (WASA), and the Washington Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development (WASCD), have recognized schools in the top 5% of improvement for their levels. This is a testament to the dedication and commitment of an amazing and resilient staff and student effort. Well done !!
A big shout out to our very own Hidden Creek Elementary School which was buzzing with more than its usual energy this morning. Over 30 educators from ASCD, WAASDA, OSPI and Hoquiam Elementary, arrived at Hidden Creek at 10am, walked through a Tunnel of Hope and received a school tour from the student leadership team. Visitors then attended a short presentation on Hidden Creek’s journey of becoming a national model for Kids at Hope and then a question and answer session. This is another great example of the amazing work students and staff in this great district are doing each and every day. Well done !!
This week, our very own Sidney Glen students performed Super!, a Scott Hopkin’s original play, at South Kitsap High School in front of throngs of fans. This group of kids certainly have a great deal of creativity and talent. Many thanks to the staff and students who brought this story to life. Well done !!
The South Colby students came back from winter vacation to a big surprise! Their salmon have matured to the fry stage and are swimming around and need to be fed. Students and parents have loved seeing the development of the salmon and look forward to the watching them grow until their release date in March. What a miracle in the making and such curiosity abounding. I find myself mesmerized by the activity when I am in the building.
We have a new league! On a news flash from Mr. Ed Santos, our District Athletic Director; South Kitsap, Bellarmine Prep and Olympia are now members of the South Puget Sound League (SPSL). We requested entry into the SPSL last week and were denied. We appealed to the West Central District on Monday (1/11) and they upheld our appeal and placed us in the South Puget Sound League. After we were accepted, two schools that had opted up to the 4A classification, rescinded their opt up and moved back down to the 3A classification. We were warmly welcomed by the remaining SPSL members. Our new league is listed below:
South Puget Sound League 2016-2020
We had one of our impressive performing arts programs featured in the Kitsap Sun article documenting the South Kitsap High School choir headed to Carnegie Hall. The Highlighters are a long-standing tradition at South Kitsap High School and continue to wow audiences regularly with their performances. Our district and community are so blessed to have this talented group of young musicians representing our district and community. Well done !!
I am so excited about one of our new community partnerships. The Rev. Shirley DeLarme, of the Port Orchard United Methodist Church, announced that their congregation will be sponsoring an After School Mentoring Program for Cedar Heights Jr. High Students and their families. This innovative mentoring program, consistent with the AVID strategies work being done across the secondary schools in our district, will meet every Wednesday from 3-6pm beginning February 3 until June 8. This is so uplifting for our students and their families as our community embraces the high support necessary for our high expectations. Members of the congregation will be tutoring in math, science and language arts as well as any other subject necessary. Snacks and dinner will also be provided on these days. Thank you. It absolutely takes all of us to provide the necessary support for teaching and learning in this great community. Well done !!
A big thank you to everyone who has come out to learn more about the facts related to our upcoming Bond intended to build a second high school and upgrade technology and safety at South Kitsap High School. Our community information events were well attended and there was rich discussion about the details of the bond and future of the South Kitsap School District. I am pleased to announce that the Port Orchard City Council passed a resolution to support the South Kitsap school bond at their meeting on January 12. Kitsap County will be mailing ballots to registered voters on January 19. Please remember to return your ballot by February 9. If you have any questions concerning the bond, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 360-874-7000.
And so, a staff member recently sent this article to me and indicated they had read it five times that day. I found it to be provocative and a worthy read, particularly at this time of the year ;>)
A reminder that this coming Monday is the observance and celebration of the birth, the life and the dream of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Many local school and community groups are planning to observe the day as “A day on NOT a day off”. To that end, they are doing several public service projects around the community. Dr. King once said, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: ‘What are you doing for others?’” Our young people continue to be such a great example of community service. Thank you.
Michelle Reid, Ed.D.
Hello Team South Kitsap,
Every New Year offers the chance for each of us to set new personal goals to make us healthier, happier, or more productive. In 2016, I hope you’ll join me as I recommit myself to ensuring that every child in America, regardless of background or circumstance, has access to an excellent education. Here in our amazing district, I know each of us is working hard every day to continue to make this resolution a reality for all our children – no exceptions.
The District Transition Committees met Thursday Night with the Middle School Group discussing: scheduling of advisory and exploratory at middle school; transition programs/ components; school site visits; and transition data. The High School Group discussing: research on best practices for high school transitions; strategies for personalization of transition for high school students; sub-committee report from the high school schedule committee; discussed “Link Crew” as a strategy for transitions; and developed questions for school site visits. This is important and ongoing work that will affect all students in our district. Thanks to those working hard on this task.
Thanks to the work of the school librarians, Burley Glenwood, Mullenix Ridge, South Colby, and Marcus Whitman received a STEM grant from the Washington State Library and IMLS. Each school, awarded the grant, will receive 50 STEM-themed books and three professional development titles for their school libraries. Well done.
January is School Board Recognition Month. Congratulations and a huge thank you go out to our award winning South Kitsap School District Board of Directors, President Greg Wall, Vice President Chris Lemke, Keith Garton, Rebecca Diehl, and Patty Henderson. They have been recognized in the past as “Board of the Year” by the Washington State School District Directors Association and are a “Board of Distinction” for 2015. Thank you for your service to the students of our community!
Congratulations to the NIB award winners that were recognized at the board meeting last night. Ms. Eileen Schiro was nominated for spending extra time with a struggling student. Ms. Kaye Muller received a NIB for her outstanding volunteer work in Ms. Hamner’s classroom at Sidney Glen. Ms. Michelle Cronin nominated Ms. Natasha Hughes for top notch customer service and support of technology needs at Sidney Glen. Ms. Cronin also nominated Ms. Paula Chambers for her classroom volunteer work at Sidney Glen. It is uplifting to hear about people living the district vision of nurturing growth, inspiring achievement, and building community.
Last night at the School Board meeting, Ms. Shannon Thompson updated the Board on evolving graduation requirements. During the 2014 Legislative session, the Legislature directed the State Board of Education to proceed with full implementation of the 24 graduation requirement for the class of 2019 and beyond. Elements of the 24 credit framework have already been phased in by the State Board for the Class of 2016. The State Board of Education designed the 24-credit framework to be both rigorous and flexible. The pathway for most students will keep all postsecondary options open, including meeting the college admission requirements for entry into a public four-year institution or pursuing a program of study in a two -year institution or apprenticeship. The framework is flexible enough to accommodate a program of study leading to a professional or technical certificate or degree through a skills center or Career and Technical Education program. Key elements of the framework that allow for flexibility include:
Additional information regarding the Career and College Ready Graduation Requirements can be found at http://www.sbe.wa.gov/graduation.php#.Vo7tNZpIiM8 . This is important information as the high school examines its current schedule. One outgrowth of the Transition Committee overseeing the transition of the ninth graders to the high school is a comprehensive look at the way in which we use time at the high school. I met with the high school staff on Tuesday this week and shared my expectations with regard to this process. As the graduation credit landscape is changing, as are the career and college ready requirements, so too must our strategies to meet them change. I am looking forward to the recommendation our intrepid high school staff will provide me by April 1, 2016.
Thank you to all who came out for the Bond Information Event this week. We had more than 60 people attend and were able to answer many questions about the upcoming Bond. There are two more district sponsored events scheduled: Saturday, January 9 at 11:00 a.m. at the SKSD Administration Office and Tuesday, January 12 at 6:00 p.m. at John Sedgwick Junior High. The Port Orchard City Council is also holding a public hearing about the Bond on January 12 at 7:00 p.m. Please send questions to Bond2016@skitsap.wednet.edu or visit our website. We also mailed out the “just the facts mailer” to registered voters earlier this week.
I am especially excited to announce the launch of the new South Kitsap School District Mobile App!
As part of our ongoing effort to meet the communication needs of our stakeholders, we have invested in the development of a mobile app for South Kitsap School District. Our stakeholders want more information than ever before and the mobile app provides everything our parents need to know right at their fingertips. This tool builds on what we are already doing and provides a one stop information resource for our families. There is a news feed that pulls information from our website, school sites, and social media feeds. The best part is that users can customize the app to only see information for the schools they are interested in. There is access to student information including teachers, grades, attendance records, lunch account balances, and library books. There are also direct links to information about the upcoming bond and grade reconfiguration. We have the ability to send out push notifications to users too. Questions and feedback about the app should be directed to Amy Miller at email@example.com Amy, Derry Lyons, and Jenni Ballew all continue to put countless hours into this project. Here are some current screen shots.
We really appreciate the efforts of both the Communications Department and the Instructional Technology Department in the rollout of this communication tool.
In contemplating my New Year’s thoughts, I found this and thought I would share it with you. “May Light always surround you; Hope kindle and rebound you. May your Hurts turn to Healing; Your Heart embrace Feeling. May Wounds become Wisdom; Every Kindness a Prism. May Laughter infect you; Your Passion resurrect you. May Goodness inspire your Deepest Desires. Through all that you Reach For, May your arms Never Tire.” — D. Simone, Author
Michelle Reid, Ed.D.
South Kitsap is strong and getting stronger. We are in a significant enrollment and program growth mode and excited about the innovative possibilities for our children and community. As is the case everywhere, the strength and health of a community begins with its schools. We are so grateful for all the community support and the many hours of generous volunteer time and contributions.
Like any winning team, it takes all of us to make the difference. Our students benefit from the time, energy and resources our community consistently provides. These investments are paying great dividends.
More students every day experience mountain top educational moments in the classroom and in the many co-curricular activities available to them.
It is often mentioned that ‘to whom much is given, much is expected.’ Our community has ‘given much’ and can assuredly expect another great year from the students and staff within this hardworking and dedicated district.
2016 will see our South Kitsap School District strong and getting stronger. Our future depends on the character and competence of the children we both raise and educate. It takes all of us in moments both small and large to make the difference for our future generation. I look forward to seeing you in the schools or at an afterschool activity in the coming year.
Hello Team South Kitsap,
What an amazing week !! There have been so many outstanding holiday performances and acts of selfless generosity on the part of students and staff. These are no accidents and are the result of caring and compassionate staff who model every day what it means to be a member of a community that cares. We are so blessed to have such an amazing staff and student family and treasure the season to celebrate this gift.
With this in mind, thank you to the staff and students who presented at the Board Meeting last night as part of the monitoring report for Ends 3, Citizenship and Personal Success. It was an impressive crowd of presenters from NJROTC, S Club (High School Soroptimists), Joe Outhwaite’s Social Studies classes, Key Club, Video Production, FCCLA (Family Career & Community Leaders of America). The second grade students, Isabella Dick, Timothy Mosby, Wesley Wheeler, and Collin Brant, from Hidden Creek stole the show. They talked about their fundraising efforts to help buy bed netting for malaria prevention in Gambia. The fundraiser will culminate with a walk-a-thon at Hidden Creek on December 18. The project is part of their unit of inquiry and supports the International Baccalaureate primary years program.
With President Obama recently signing the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the long journey to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act is finally over. This reauthorization, eight years overdue, completely overhauls the 2002 law (commonly called No Child Left Behind) and has three major implications for Washington’s school districts.
In addition to these changes, ESSA does more. Immediately, the US Departmental of Education will begin writing administrative code to accompany the bill. So, December 10, 2015, will go down as an important day in the history of K-12 education in the United States. ESSA redefines—and significantly lessens--the federal role in education, returning school governance to its state and local roots. Notably, in Washington, all twelve of our representatives and senators voted in favor of ESSA. Particularly, thanks needs to be extended to Senator Patty Murray, who, as ranking member of the Senate committee that deals with education, was a main author of this bipartisan bill. In addition, Representative Cathy McMorris-Rodgers, fourth in leadership among House Republicans, helped to get the bill through the House in a highly contentious political atmosphere. While there are still many topics in this accountability legislation we might take issue with; it is a good start on the journey of returning the education decision making to those educating our children.
A big shout out to Libby Morey, a student in Ms. Cathy Duttry’s Advanced Placement 2D Studio Arts, for placing 2nd in the SchoolArts Magazine Advocacy Poster Design Contest. Her poster, Art is For Everyone, will be reproduced and distributed at the 2016 NAEA National Convention in Chicago this March. Well done !!
I want to share our continued excitement over our enrollment story. With regard to current student enrollment news, our December 1, 2015, head count was over 9,800 and is now 252 students over budget. This is up from prior years and continues to demonstrate a healthy growth in the district and community. The enrollment chart for FTE student count is the chart for which we receive state funding. This is such great news for our district as it enables us to be more stable in our planning and resource decision making. Our enrollment increase is also an opportunity to celebrate our hard work with innovative programs and support initiatives.
Students from Mr. Tom Shmuck’s class at John Sedgwick visited the South Kitsap High School pool on Tuesday to test their ROV (Remote Operated Vehicle) projects. This hands-on classwork directly relates to a visit from Board Member Mr. Chris Lemke’s daughter, Ms. Ashley Lemke. At the Board Meeting last night, Ashley shared a video of her doctoral research in underwater archeology. I hope that our students will see how their work can be applied to real world situations and that they may be part of new discoveries and innovations. Imagine the possibilities…
Our district-wide excitement with The Hour of Code was a resounding success. We are still compiling the data on participation and creating a photo montage of our event. We do know that well over 80% of the students in the district participated in some fashion and many of the staff as well. I know I certainly had a ‘learning moment’ with my third grade coding tutor at East Port Orchard. At one point, Preston leaned over to me and observed; “this looks like it is really hard for you, you can just copy my work if you want to….” Needless to say, I worked harder to master the navigation of the lava pit code writing ;>) What a great learning opportunity.
The Arizona Republic (12/15, Worthington) reports Phoenix Coding Academy in Phoenix, Arizona aims to prepare students for entry-level jobs in technology after high school. The school is scheduled to open next year and is the first public high school in the state focused on technology. This is an interesting partnership that supports an innovative program and is subsequently drawing businesses to the Phoenix area. Again, a situation where the growth of the community is inextricably linked to the innovation of the schools.
Many have noted the following; “This is my wish for you: peace of mind, prosperity through the year, happiness that multiplies, health for you and yours, fun around every corner, energy to chase your dreams, joy to fill your holidays!” What a joyful wish to come true for each of you…
Warm wishes for a blessed and joyful holiday season,
Michelle Reid, Ed.D.
Hello Team South Kitsap,
What another incredible week. It is not even our formal winter season yet; but, the weather is already beastly. I really appreciate all the flexibility as we deal with power surges, outages and road closures, etc. Every staff member in this great district has admirably responded to the weather challenges and our community is grateful. Well done.
A reminder that we have an event at the high school this evening. It is Computer Science Education Week this week. In celebration, our schools are offering Hour of Code opportunities to students all week. South Kitsap High is opening up their computer labs from 5 – 7pm on Thursday, December 10th to students, parents and the community to experience an Hour of Code. SKHS will follow that with a free screening of an amazing movie, CodeGirl, documenting an international school-age app development competition for girls. All leadership members in the district will also be experiencing an hour of code during the week. I am really looking forward to this and having students teach me this necessary 21st century skill. There is so much to learn….
Congratulations to our Star Award Staff Members for the fourth quarter; Ms. Becky Ferguson, the Office Coordinator from Manchester Elementary, and Ms. Cherryl Christman, the Dean of Students from John Sedgwick Junior High. The Port Orchard Chamber of Commerce partners with South Kitsap School District to recognize one stand out classified and certificated staff member each quarter. This STAR Award comes with gift certificates from several Chamber of Commerce businesses and is intended to show the deep appreciation our community has for the quality education our children receive. Healthy schools equal healthy communities…
In another strong community partnership, a big Thank You to Kiwanis of Port Orchard for their continued support of South Kitsap students and schools. The club recognized Students of the Month at a recent luncheon, from left to right are Kayla Varney, Makayla Moore, Tara Kapsch, Paxton DePoe, and Bianca Salazar. We also had great news coverage of the innovative work being done at South Colby this year, putting into practice new methods of teaching science https://shar.es/1cNTLl . It is so exciting to be part of these innovative inquiry experiences for our children.
We recently held the All-District String Festival at SKHS where 74 second year string players, 51 junior high, and 27 high school orchestra members performed a concert in the high school theatre celebrating the second year of the district’s K-12 orchestra program. With the large increase in students participating in the district orchestra program, we had to move the beginning/first year players to a separate concert (in March) as the main stage would not hold an additional 90 plus - 5th/6th grade beginning string students. Currently the total number of string students participating in the program:
232 - 5th grade second year through high school players
27 - 2nd grade through 6th grade first year Burley Glenwood players
51 - Kindergarten through 6th grade first year Orchard Heights players
42 - 2nd grade through 6th grade first year Sidney Glen players
29 - 2nd grade through 6th grade first year Sunnyslope players
381 Total orchestra students
158 Band members as well as the High School Dance Team marched in the Seattle Macy’s Day Parade on Friday, November 27th. The band and dance team were placed in front of Santa Claus at the end of the parade as a place of honor. Students and directors arrived at the high school at 6:00am Friday morning to board four district school buses for the trek over to the Seattle Convention Center and the parade route. The 160 total students with director Gary Grams, assistant directors Michael Paul Koontz and Bob Cooper, and 12 adult chaperones spent the “Black Friday” morning on the frozen pavement entertaining the crowd with a selection from their half-time show “Bon Jove” and “Santa Claus in Coming to Town”. Our SK community was proudly represented !! Well done.
Members of the High School Marching Band (as well as EPO’s choir and Marcus Whitman’s Blazer Choir) performed at last week’s annual holiday tree lighting at the Port Orchard City Hall. In spite of the cold, rainy weather the students entertained the holiday well-wishers with holiday favorites. The band marched in preceding Santa on a fire truck and continued to lead the audience and Santa down to the gazebo on the waterfront. This level of community involvement is a blessing !!
Well done to the SK Wrestling team who took 1st place at the Auburn Invitational in their first outing of the season. Boys and Girls Basketball also opened up the winter season with wins over Cascade Christian and Port Angeles. Boys Swim & Dive team competed in a dual meet to open up their season on Tuesday and took both in a close and exciting competition beating North Kitsap and Kingston. The Ladies Bowling team continue to “roll” on with the wins and currently stand at the top of the 4A standings with a 6-1 overall record. Well done.
Coming up – lots of opportunity to cheer on your favorite teams, at all levels. Varsity, JV, C team and Junior Highs. All winter sport schedules are online at: http://skhsathletics.skitsap.tandemcal.com We encourage staff, players, parents and fans to subscribe to the online calendar. It is free and schedules can be downloaded directly into any smart phone calendar app. You can also choose to receive text and/or email alerts to any schedule changes in real time. Details include bus departure times and directions to all venues. Thank you so much to Ms. Emma LaDeaux for the up to date information in an often changing athletic scene.
Our very own Ms. Colleen Popochock is featured in a Kitsap Sun article today. Colleen leads a fascinating life and I learn something new every time I talk with her. Wow, amazing….
Our school district charitable giving campaign forms have been collected and we have once again exceeded our donated numbers from prior years. Our staff has pledged $37,117 to support local charitable organizations. Please return any remaining forms to Amy Miller as soon as possible. Thank you.
I will close this week with the hope that each of you will enjoy a weekend filled with joy and excitement. This is a season for friends and family, reminding us of the importance of being in relationship with one another. “A friend is one that knows you as you are, understands where you have been, accepts what you have become, and still, gently allows you to grow.” —William Shakespeare (1564-1616) True then, still true now…
Michelle Reid, Ed.D.
Hello Team South Kitsap,
What another great week. It is hard to believe that it is already December !! The winter concerts and activities are in full swing. The schools and streets are alive with a festive energy as we await winter. I for one can wait a bit for any more inclement weather ;>) As these days get shorter, it is wise to remember “gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.” —William Arthur Ward (1921-1994)
I want to remind you about an upcoming event; Computer Science Education Week coming up on December 7 – 13. In celebration, our schools are offering Hour of Code opportunities to students that week. South Kitsap High is opening up their computer labs from 5 – 7pm on Thursday, December 10th to students, parents and the community to experience an Hour of Code. SKHS will follow that with a free screening of an amazing movie, CodeGirl, documenting an international school-age app development competition for girls. All leadership members in the district will also be experiencing an hour of code during the upcoming week. I am really looking forward to this and having students teach me this necessary 21st century skill. There is so much to learn….
Congratulations to our junior high staff team for their thorough work at getting students enrolled in the College Bound program. South Kitsap School District received the Gold Star Award (for the second year in a row) for exceeding the state average for sign ups with over 90% of eligible students signed up! This work is so important for our students, as it provides hope in action and provides the opportunity for students in need to reach their goals of attending college! It is a great staff partnership with our Food and Nutrition staff and IT staff supporting the counselors, teachers, and principals at each junior high. In his letter to the district, Governor Jay Inslee stated that the performance of our district places South Kitsap among the top performing districts in the State. Well done.
A reminder that our upcoming Community Bond Information Night event is just around the corner on December 9, at Sunnyslope. Our Bond Info Event Poster has the times, dates, and locations for the next four events. Please join us and learn all the details of the February 9 bond. Also, a reminder that Ms. Misty Dieffenbach, and her first grade son Ace, collaborated to put together a short animated video to share information about our upcoming Bond. Ace is a first grader at Olalla Elementary School. Other facts and information on the upcoming bond are available on the school district web-site. Please also feel free to share any thoughts, ideas or questions with me on this topic.
We had a busy Board meeting last night. Our three newly elected Board members (Mr. Greg Wall, Ms. Patty Henderson, and Mr. Keith Garton) were sworn in and the Board was reorganized. Mr. Greg Wall is the new Board President and Mr. Chris Lemke is the new Board Vice-President. The Board thanked Mr. Lemke for his two years of distinguished service as the Board President. Among other items discussed at the meeting, were a variety of NIB award winners recognizing the amazing achievements of a variety of our community members who tirelessly support the children in our school district. We also recognized Ace Dieffenbach for his contributions in narrating our Bond Facts video.
Ms. Tracy Patterson presented the 2014-2015 Year End Financial Report as of August 31, 2015. Ms. Patterson provided a thorough report to the Board on the ending fund balance and rationale for the annual financial report. Interestingly, we were just about spot on with budgeted and actual expenditures. Our revenue was up by just over two million dollars (see slide 5) primarily due to increased enrollment. As we have budgeted for conservative enrollment, we are also now in the midst of two years of student growth which is such a healthy sign. We are strong and getting stronger !!
Makerspaces provide hands-on, creative ways to encourage students to design, build, experiment and invent. According to the New Media Consortium's 2015 Horizon Report makerspaces are among key developments in technology. "Makerspaces are increasingly being looked to as a method for engaging learners in creative, higher-order problem-solving through hands-on design, construction, and iteration," the report says. Here is how we are preparing for Thanksgiving in our makerspace! Mr. Derry Lyons and Ms. Sara Hatfield will be supporting this innovative work in the coming months. I am filled with awe and wonder at the possibilities.
I also want to note that I inadvertently neglected to mention that our very own Ms. Kristine Lange, a teacher at East Port Orchard, also received one of the grants from the Kurt Wagner Education Fund Committee, too!! Ms. Lange is the recipient of technology (iPad minis) for use in her classroom. How exciting !!
Given the possibility of more stormy weather outside, several of you have asked again how best to tune into my Twitter account for late breaking school weather plans so I will include the directions again. I want to remind you that after hearing from students at recent school visits, and following my focus groups with recent graduates, I have decided to learn more about and join Twitter ;>) Visit my page and follow me at @SouthKitsapSupt . Feel free to send me questions, suggestions, and innovative ideas. I love to hear from students, staff, parents, and community partners. Like the Thursday memo, blog, and column in the Port Orchard Independent, Twitter is another tool that will help us all stay connected and share information. As you ‘follow my Twitter account’ you too can be among the first to know about school snow closures, inclement weather issues, wildlife challenges, safety messages, etc. I will also be sharing up to date news on what’s new around the district. The really good news is that I am limited to 140 characters in those Twitter communications ;>) !!
A colleague recently shared this video with me and we took time this morning at our District Leadership Team to both view it and discuss it. I believe it is timely to reflect on several of the big ideas at this time of the year. It is important to remember the power of small acts of kindness and that much of the work we as educators do does not bear fruit for many years. Remember to water the bamboo.
Michelle Reid, Ed.D.